The Word Alive
The Cellar, Southampton, UK - 1/12
Written by: MST on 02/10/2012 17:39:07
The extreme metal world's favorite insane Brits return once again with a new album. Since 2001's "The Codex Necro", Anaal Nathrakh have been the embodiment of extreme metal, and their brand of grindcore-tinged black metal is now as renowned as it is unique. The duo, consisting of Michael "Irrumator" Kenney on guitars, bass, programmed drums and whatnot, and David "V.I.T.R.I.O.L." Hunt on vocals, released their last album "Passion" in 2011, an album that I was less than pleased with. They've been productive since then, and now, 17 months later, it's time for "Vanitas" to destroy everything in it's path.
And that is exactly what it does. From the furiously blasting drums, Kenney's bass-heavy guitar orchestrations and Hunt's tortured shrieks and epic clean vocals, Anaal Nathrakh sound as powerful as ever. Those who loved "Passion" will probably be less excited than the undersigned, because this album feels more like "In The Constellation Of The Black Widow" from 2009 than any other album. There are less clean vocals present than we've been accustomed to on the last few albums, but when the cleans are there, they work with the melodic riffs of the choruses to provide, indeed, catchy choruses that stand in stark contrast to the insanity of the majority of the rest of the material. "Forging Towards The Sunset", one of the strongest tracks on the record, is a prime example of this as the choruses make perfect use of Hunt's epic clean vocals while the rest of the song takes no prisoners as it sweeps away all in front of it.
Through the industrial-inspired "Todos Somos Humanos" and lead single "Of Fire, And Fucking Pigs", "Vanitas" leaves little room for fucking around. I do have small points of criticism I'd like to highlight though: "Forging Towards The Sunset" ends with a 30-second scream, and nothing else. Accompanied by actual music that might have been an interesting idea, but it doesn't exactly sound good on the record. Other than that, my only complaint is the song "You Can't Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying", the weakest song on the record. The chorus almost sounds like a metalcore track, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that that's not what anyone wants from Anaal Nathrakh.
But nevermind the criticism. "Vanitas" is a fucking beast of an album. Highly recommended for anyone who appreciates a shot of insanity in their extreme metal, this album is yet another testament to the genious hiding behind the Anaal Nathrakh moniker. It is an extremely well crafted album that thoroughly cements Anaal Nathrakh's status as one of the leading forces in extreme metal.
Download: The Blood-Dimmed Tide, Forging Towards The Sunset, Todos Somos Humanos, Make Glorious The Embrace Of Saturn
For The Fans Of: Early Emperor, Mayhem, Mistress
Release date: 15.10.2012